|Didier Awadi, one of Francophone Africa's most prominent rap artists, and winner of the 2003 Radio France International ‘World Music Award', has been nominated as a UN-HABITAT “Messenger of Truth” for his contribution to raising awareness among African youth of the commitments made by the Heads of State to achieving the Millennium Development Goals which aim to halve world wide poverty by 2015. On behalf of the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Kajumolo Tibaijuka, and Kenya 's Minister for Local Government, Hon. Musikari Kombo, presented a certificate to Didier Awadi at a ceremony at the Alliance Francaise in Nairobi.|
“We have to walk together and it is important for our leaders to listen to the streets to be able to build the continent. We have to believe in ourselves”, was DJ Awadi's message to the youth and leaders of Africa.
DJ Awadi is presently on a thirteen-country African tour, called “The African Presidents' Tour”. On June 10, DJ Awadi will be performing at the Carnivore Simba Saloon. He will be joined on stage by other Messengers of Truth such as the Kenyan hip-hop stars Gidi Gidi Maji Maji.
Prior to the concert, he will be holding a three-day workshop with several local artists to create tracks for a new album posing the question: "Where have all our dreams gone?”. This project aims at highlighting history through rap by using the speeches and ideas of Africa 's famous leaders and luminaries for the future development of the continent.
DJ Awadi hopes to enable an interactive dialogue with Rap artists and to use urban music to communicate with the younger generation of Africans.
The role of art and culture is central in building consciousness and raising self-esteem among young people. This is why UN-HABITAT arranged an international Hip-Hop concert in Barcelona during the second World Urban Forum and dialogues with the stars featuring as “Messengers of Truth”.
The Messengers of Truth project brings together socially committed Hip-Hop and other artists, youth groups and representatives of the music industry from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas to raise awareness about the positive role and potential contribution of the Hip-Hop movement and to provide the world's disenfranchised youth with a platform to be heard by political leaders.
UN-HABITAT's Global Partnership Initiative on Urban Youth Development in Africa was also discussed in Barcelona and has set a test case for the governments and the international community addressing the impact of rapid urbanizations and social exclusion on vulnerable young people. The Global Partnership Initiative (GPI) is important because it seeks to integrate the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with development projects at the city level focusing on and working with urban youth in Africa .
These activities are the direct result of UN-HABITAT's Governing Council resolution GC19/13 on the engagement of youth in it's the work. It directs the Executive Director to “ensure the active participation of UN-HABITAT in the Secretary General's initiative on youth employment; as well as to develop a Global Partnership Initiative on Urban Youth Development in Africa, in partnership with other relevant United Nations agencies, multilateral institutions and private foundations. This work is consistent with a number of the MDGs, including Goal 7 Target 11 and Goal 8 Target 16; the GPI seeks to help the international community to fulfill the MDGs.